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Portrait Techniques

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#1
CaptainBlack

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Hi friends, I had many people asking me to do portrait tattoos and I would love to do it.
But I would like to have more background and information bofore trying, as I never watched someone doing a tattoo like that.
Of course I saw some videos at youtube but they are too short and they always skip the basics.
I guess many of the "elephant shading" instructions posted here also apply for portrait tattoos, as well as bloodlining techniques wich everybody mentions.
But does it work the same way for stencils, outlining !?
Could anyone give me insights about it?
Any help would be appreciated.
(Again, if this question was already posted somewhere else please tell me...)

#2
Mario AKA mark

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first off have you ever drawn a realistic portrait on paper and how long have you been tattooing

#3
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i cant talk from experience bro(havent done a portrait yet) but heres what i would do, make sure you can draw a portrait before even attempting a tattoo of it for starters. from the stencil, outline only the parts which are true black on the design, and shade in gradients away from the true black parts. it would also help if you used photoshop on the design/picture you were working from so you could define the darker areas down to true black.

thats how i see it anyways, hope it helps.

#4
CaptainBlack

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View Postmark, on Nov 30 2007, 01:38 PM, said:

first off have you ever drawn a realistic portrait on paper and how long have you been tattooing
Yes, many times...That's one of the things I always liked to do since I was a kid. Here goes some of them, using different techniques...
[attachment=2424:vinicius_web.jpg]
[attachment=2423:poodle1.jpg]

#5
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great pictures mate, are you 100% confident you could produce such work with a tattoo machine? how long have you been tattooing?

#6
CaptainBlack

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View PostDELETED, on Nov 30 2007, 02:04 PM, said:

great pictures mate, are you 100% confident you could produce such work with a tattoo machine? how long have you been tattooing?
That's exactly why I'm asking this question bro... If I had the same confidence using machine and needles instead of pens and pencils I would be already doing it with no doubts. I'm on my 21st tattoo on real skin. You can see some of the tattos I've done on my gallery. Tks.

#7
shortyrock

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ive never done a portrait , im just not that great at doing realistic faces im more of a neotraditionalist. although i have done realistic pieces ive drawn peoples portraits many a times. and watched alot of portraits being done. and drew stencils for people whoeve dont portraits.

a good idea is to take some pics they give you scan em and throw em in photo shop and play with the contrast making it more dark than usuall in either black and white or break it down into 2 or 3 colors. (taking the easy route) or make it look like an old 40s-50s photo. (whitch i highly recomend.

get more than one photo that way you will know how the face looks from a few angles and you can reduce error.

print out the picture , trace the profile trace the areas where the dark lines have there edge.

-a trick that might work if the portraits a big one -when you want a hard stop to a color do a line , when you want a flowing direction of shading from that color drawn little dotted lines in that direction , when you want a short shade draw em as a line of x's . this way you wont lose your direction.
- or you can draw the tracing out like a sketch

use a 3rl or a 5rl for the lines , you dont need to do a hard line around the face itd be better for you too blood line it or grey line it and bild up thicker areas where you need em. use only hard lines around areas that need it , profile hairs , eyes ears earings things like that grey line the rest , either with a build up or a few shades of grey. the bigest mistake people make is too put hard lines in places that dont need it.

use a fat needle grouping for shading like a 14 rnd or a magnum with a bullet tip needle or a spread out needle shader needle for a softer blow.

if youve never done one and your gonna crap your pants before the apointment. take the pic they gave you throw it in photoshop make it all black and do it like you would tribal.

take your time and dont rush it.
"A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his mind is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist."
- ST.thomas aquines

#8
CaptainBlack

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View Postshortyrock, on Nov 30 2007, 03:02 PM, said:

ive never done a portrait , im just not that great at doing realistic faces im more of a neotraditionalist. although i have done realistic pieces ive drawn peoples portraits many a times. and watched alot of portraits being done. and drew stencils for people whoeve dont portraits.

a good idea is to take some pics they give you scan em and throw em in photo shop and play with the contrast making it more dark than usuall in either black and white or break it down into 2 or 3 colors. (taking the easy route) or make it look like an old 40s-50s photo. (whitch i highly recomend.

get more than one photo that way you will know how the face looks from a few angles and you can reduce error.

print out the picture , trace the profile trace the areas where the dark lines have there edge.

-a trick that might work if the portraits a big one -when you want a hard stop to a color do a line , when you want a flowing direction of shading from that color drawn little dotted lines in that direction , when you want a short shade draw em as a line of x's . this way you wont lose your direction.
- or you can draw the tracing out like a sketch

use a 3rl or a 5rl for the lines , you dont need to do a hard line around the face itd be better for you too blood line it or grey line it and bild up thicker areas where you need em. use only hard lines around areas that need it , profile hairs , eyes ears earings things like that grey line the rest , either with a build up or a few shades of grey. the bigest mistake people make is too put hard lines in places that dont need it.

use a fat needle grouping for shading like a 14 rnd or a magnum with a bullet tip needle or a spread out needle shader needle for a softer blow.

if youve never done one and your gonna crap your pants before the apointment. take the pic they gave you throw it in photoshop make it all black and do it like you would tribal.

take your time and dont rush it.


Yes Shorty !!!!
That's a great answer !
Do you make those grey lines with pure grey sumi or you have it dilluted ? (Or you just dillute black lining ink ?)

Thank you, bro.

#9
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oh my god.. i won't even be doing a practice portrait on synthetic for atleast 6 more months ( year from starting)... that is serious mastety of technique.... it's not like you can go back and touch up a portrait. so much of it are not actual lines...all sublte shadows.... if you don't think you could pull it off perfectly...don't do it.

#10
shortyrock

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View Postcaptainblack, on Nov 30 2007, 05:28 PM, said:

Yes Shorty !!!!
That's a great answer !
Do you make those grey lines with pure grey sumi or you have it dilluted ? (Or you just dillute black lining ink ?)

Thank you, bro.


grey sumi pure if your hitting light ,or dillute down 20%-30% if your a hard hitting or even more depends how you want it too look , better to go too light than too dark .if its too light you can build up in a second sitting a few weeks after.
"A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his mind is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist."
- ST.thomas aquines

#11
CaptainBlack

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View Postshortyrock, on Nov 30 2007, 03:45 PM, said:

grey sumi pure if your hitting light ,or dillute down 20%-30% if your a hard hitting or even more depends how you want it too look , better to go too light than too dark .if its too light you can build up in a second sitting a few weeks after.

Thank you Shorty. I will pick up all these tips, and wait till some client shows up with an image I feel confortable to work on.
I'm not in a hurry...Just feel like I need all this information before the time comes.
I will post when I make it.

Cheers.

#12
Kit Wiz

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Hello- theres an awesome tutorial on youtube at this time. Its a 3 part series from outlining the lines you can trace from the picture onto your stencil, lining them with waterd down grewwash, and hitting some shading, then highlights. easy as cake, just if you know the techniques it can be done.


part 1^^
you should be able to find other parts easily (i hope)